Soldotna is working to improve its paper trail.
While city employees follow an informal procedure for requesting and managing capital assets, City Manager Mark Dixson introduced a management plan that will require better record-keeping and establish an inventory of the city’s capital assets.
After the Wednesday Soldotna City Council meeting, during which members voted to adopt the new plan, Dixson said there were few changes between what the city is currently doing with its capital assets and what is covered under the new policy.
“It really puts the burden on the city administration who are coming to council, that we have a cost benefit analysis done (on each capital asset request),” Dixson said.
Dixson said heads of the city’s departments will have to lay out a plan for how an asset will be maintained and paid for, as well as its life expectancy.
“It’s going to require a little bit more due diligence, in my opinion,” he said.
The new plan was developed after the city hired a Government Financial Officers Association reviewer to go through its management policies. One of the recommendations was for the city to formalize a policy out of its procedures for capital asset management.
Under the new plan, the city will develop a comprehensive asset inventory which will project equipment replacement and maintenance needs for the city five years into the future. It will be updated each year.
Dixson said the new plan will put onto paper the questions that must be answered before a project or capital asset can be financed.
“Where are you going to get the money for it? What’s it going to cost to maintain? What is the material going to be? What’s the expected life? All of that information, we need to have ahead of time before it even goes past my desk and comes to (city) council,” Dixson said. “It establishes a paper trail (showing) that we went through the right process.”
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